SoC has Bluetooth direction finding protocol

For home and industrial applications which require broad connectivity options, Nordic Semiconductor has developed the nRF52811SoC supporting Bluetooth 5.1 Direction Finding and other protocols.

The Nordic nRF52811 SoC brings greater levels of accessibility for applications that would benefit from advanced wireless IoT capabilities such as Bluetooth 5.1 Direction Finding as well as Thread and Zigbee, explains the company.

The SoC expands Nordic’s highly popular nRF52 Series platform by adding a device that combines the low cost of Nordic’s baseline nRF52810 SoC with the multi-protocol support of Nordic’s mid-range nRF52832 and advanced nRF52840 SoCs. The nRF52811 is also the first product in the Nordic low power wireless range to support Bluetooth 5.1, which adds direction finding to high throughput, long range, and enhanced co-existence capabilities of Bluetooth 5.

The Nordic nRF52811 SoC includes a multi-protocol 2.4GHz radio (featuring 4dBm output power with -97dBm sensitivity (at 1Mbits per second in Bluetooth 5 mode)), 64MHz, 32-bit Arm Cortex M4 processor, and 192kbyte flash and 24kbyte RAM. The nRF52811 SoC also includes a wide range of analogue and digital interfaces.

The nRF52811 SoC is designed for applications that feature a companion microprocessor, for example, home and industry gateways that demand low power wireless support for Bluetooth 5, Thread, and Zigbee, such as those used with smart light networks, HVAC, and security systems. The SoC is also suitable for cost-constrained Bluetooth beacon applications requiring Bluetooth 5 technology’s extended range or employed as part of a direction finding system.

The nRF52811 SoC is accompanied by an updated version (v15.3.0) of Nordic’s nRF5 software development kit (SDK). This SDK includes Nordic’s S112 SoftDevice (a Bluetooth 5 certified RF software protocol stack) and a selection of examples, libraries and drivers.

Thread connectivity solutions will be available through Nordic’s v2.1 of the nRF5 SDK for Thread and Zigbee.

  The nRF52811 SoC’s Bluetooth 5.1 Direction Finding enables positioning solutions to not only rely just on received signal strength indicator (RSSI), but also the direction of a signal. This improves accuracy significantly and opens up new applications. There are two types of methods for determining direction, angle of arrival (AoA), where the direction of the received signal is calculated, and angle of departure (AoD), where the direction of the transmitted signal is calculated. Direction finding can operate in either two or three dimensions depending on the selected design complexity and antenna array. The nRF52811 SoC can be used as a transceiver for both AoA or AoD. Bluetooth 5.1 hardware functionality is built-in to the nRF52811 SoC.

The nRF52811 SoC will be produced in a 6.0 x 6.0mm QFN48 package with 32 general purpose I/Os (GPIOs), a 5.0 x 5.0mm QFN32 with 17 GPIOs and a 2.5 x 2.5mm wafer level CSP32 with 15 GPIOs. All packages are compatible with those of the nRF52810 SoC.

All versions of the nRF52811 SoC are available now. Full capabilities of the nRF52811 SoC-including Bluetooth 5 Long Range, Bluetooth 5.1 Direction Finding, and Zigbee 3.0-will be made available through software releases during 2019.

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